Brave Browser Under Fire, is it Justified?

Brave Browser Under Fire, is it Justified?

By Thomas Wolf | Thomas Wolf's Den | 10 Jun 2020

It is all over the news that Brave browser was using affiliate links to complete certain crypto-related URL's and profit off of it - it's on my browser, on my phone, on Coinbase - it's "big news" to some.

Here is my big question for the morning: Why is that a problem?

It was evident to me this was occurring long before this was "news" as I saw the URL's after clicking on the ad-links.  Companies like BlockFi, Binance, etc - which did pay me for each click.

How is this any different from what most websites, including Publish0x and its leading team/authors do for new services that they are promoting, such as Atomic Wallet which is an excellent service?

I hold no bar against any person who promotes a service they like and obtains a profit for doing so; if they helped you reach the service, and that service has an affiliate program - it should be acceptable.

The people I have a problem with are the ones promoting services simply for gain, such as with CryptoTab - frying peoples laptops for a few pennies.  This is nothing like that.

Brave goes out of their way while bending over backwards to try to provide a seamless viewing experience with the option to turn off all advertisements altogether, yet they are penalized over affiliate links.

Here's some 1st grade math for you - more affiliate links being satisfied means more crypto in circulation, more crypto being used from point A to point B to point C and so on, so forth.  Hence, Brave's affiliate links are good for cryptocurrencies - particularly crypto related services such as these.

Also, if you are a BAT supporter such as myself, Brave having more money is in your best interest.

As for Brendan Eich, Brave's CEO, former Mozilla CTO/CEO and creator of JavaScript - said "We block all of the conventional ad tech.  We're not the blind slave of the ad tech companies as a browser."

This sounds like it was spoken by a person who knows their way around systems so well that he isn't inclined to take advice from critics.  He seems to know exactly what he is doing and which directions the company and BAT are taking, and I have to say - I love that confidence.

The only negative I can think of would be for the crypto companies themselves - paying to Brave redundantly for affiliate bonuses instead of people like you or I.  This shouldn't happen and if I were either of those companies I would expect a full refund in order to maintain good standing.

I have seen no evidence that Brave was robbing URL's that already contained affiliate links.

On another note, I have not had a Brave ad notification in several days, I am beginning to wonder what is going on - I view a lot of different material (most of which is costly) and find it hard to believe none would lead to advertisements.  Then again, most of the advertisements I was getting were crypto-related, so the recent pull of crypto-related site ad-support could be a factor.

What do you think?  Are their hands dirty or is this just being blown out of proportion as these things often are?

-Thomas Wolf

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Thomas Wolf
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Technical Researcher, Writer & Editor. Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Technology Advocate, STEM Student, Self-Taught Techie, PC Gamer, Nature Enthusiast, DIY Specialist, and Market Trader.

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